Monday, July 14, 2008


Made my third short story sale!

My story "Arrows, Co-Arrows" has been accepted for publication by Labyrinth Inhabitant Magazine, a very cool e-zine, the "web's first magazine devoted to stories about life in giant artificial structures created by forces beyond human comprehension." There's a lot of interesting work in the first two issues. Not aware yet when the story will be published; updates to follow as I get them.

After receiving some really helpful feedback and direction regarding the first draft of my review of Malzberg's Breakfast in the Ruins, I pretty much re-wrote it -- and it has now been accepted for publication in the first issue of Fruitless Recursion, a new journal devoted to works of SF criticism. Again, will post updates when I have more info. This is my fourth sale of 08.

Two fun audio interviews:
  • This one is a podcast interview with Geoffrey Thorne, author of one of the recent Star Trek: Titan novels. It's aimed at starting writers and Thorne gets very detailed about his first sales and experiences with editors -- a lot of good stuff, about an hour long.
  • This one is with composer Danny Elfman, another extensive interview. He discusses his recent scores to Wanted and Hellboy 2, and much else besides!


Sergio Lukic said...

Hey Alvaro!,

Congrats!. I think I remember that story (Arrows, co-arrows), but it is an old one of yours, right?. Is it the one about the 2d torus universe?

Best Wishes.

Alvaro Zinos-Amaro said...

Hey Mr. London! Thanks!!! I do believe you saw the story that eventually gave birth to this one :-) Man, your memory is impressive!

The story that will be published is significantly different from what you saw, though it shares the title -- basically a new piece, though there's a few ideas that carried over.

Anonymous said...

As promised...
This one warranted two readings, and now as I go to post my thoughts gets a third for good measure and accurate recollection.

The first thing I noticed and loved is the rhythm of oppression and ceaseless futile effort created by the ant farm, and then supported by Trander's outing to get food - food the ants probably won't even eat - on a route to the store and back again that no matter how different always leads to the same place. The imagery of circles and echoes throughout the story reinforces this theme without beating you over the head. I thought it was very clever, esp. when it's braided into the conclusion.

Trander's headache gives a sense that something is wrong, and yet at the same time it fits into the setting of the story in such a way that his existence in this city without a headache seems unreasonable. He should have a headache. Everyone who lives here should have a headache. Just like everyone depicted in 1984 should feel hungry, dirty, and tired all the time. His discomfort both acts as a symptom of his surroundings and helps to create them. Good juxtaposition alongside Elissa's cancer..."You live with it so long, you almost begin to think it's a part of you."

The part that worked the least for me was the relationship between Trander and Elissa. Elissa is described in the story a couple of times, and seems a particularly cookie-cutter beauty in her appearance with no character revealing flaws. This struck me as a little jarring and unrealistic when I read it the first time, and then after coming to the conclusion and going back for a second read I determined it both works and doesn't. Elissa being so bland makes the relationship and emotion between her and Trander false. Had there been more depth written into her character, revealing more of his love for her, it would have existed in contrast the rest of the story creating a sense of that relationship, its reliving and resolution, as Trander's purpose for being in town in the first place. Maybe that would have been a good thing and maybe not. For me I couldn't feel the connection. It didn't feel deep enough to represent what Trander had really lost.

All said I loved the story and even a third reading reveals more for me about comfort and courage and compassion. The writing was solid. I had a little trouble with the opening paragraph – too much simile and metaphor – but other than that my goodness but you do write well!